SciGirls at the Tallahassee Animal Services Center
With the weekend over, SciGirls I started Week Two with Dr. Rachel Barton at the Animal Service Center. Realizing that there would be many oohs and aahs and oh nos, Dr. Barton began the day with a presentation on animal welfare and eased the girls into the roles of forensic veterinarians to discuss the importance of caring for your pets. Citing the City Animal Ordinance (Section 4.7a-d), the case was made for ensuring that animals are provided their five freedoms: (1) freedom from hunger and thirst; (2) freedom from discomfort; (3) freedom from pain, injury, and disease; (4) freedom from fear and distress; and (5) freedom to express normal behavior. Animal welfare refers to the physical or mental state of an animal and there are consequences for owners who are found guilty of abuse, cruelty, or neglect. Animals deserve to be loved, and thankfully, the Animal Service Center serves as a haven for cats, dogs, bunnies, and at this moment, a lizard who are all in need of a good home. Last year, close to 4,000 cats and dogs were adopted out from the ASC. That's right people, if you are looking to add some cuteness to your household, drop on in.
Of course, no day would be complete without some interactive experiences. Let's just say that everyone tried to make it through the spaying of the two female dogs, but some were more successful than others. If we weren't in animal surgery, then we were determining the transmission of zoonotic disease in the form of a fomite or a vector. Did you know that there are close 30,000 emergency room visits per year that are attributed to bite wounds and up to 80% of cat bites become infected? This serves as a SciGirls PSA to take the proper precautions when dealing with unfamiliar animals. We ended our day with heartworm testing, and due to typical Tallahassee summer weather, we conducted an emergency retrieval of a raccoon from the ceiling with the help of Officer Kelly. Not too bad for a group of amateurs! What's up next for this intriguing group? All we'll say is move over Food Network..... cuteness to your household, drop on in.